Trading through a more complex global economy

Australia signed a trade deal with Japan last week. Does that help or hinder New Zealand’s trade ambitions and prospects? There are four parts to New Zealand’s trade strategy, broadly followed since Trade Minister Tim Groser enunciated them when an … Continue reading

The long and the short of fiscal consolidation

No lolly scramble in May’s Budget. That was John Key’s message last week and will be Bill English’s next week. Only some wholesome nuts to nourish GDP growth and some pacifiers for the voracious sickness industry. Key’s nut last week … Continue reading

Party of the future? Or a Dotcom bubble?

An aspiring Dotcom party member gushed in an email on Thursday: “A party that’s ALL about the future, not the past.” But is it? Compare the Values party formed a few months before the 1972 election. Values focused on the … Continue reading

David Cunliffe’s long, hard leadership challenge

David Cunliffe has just under six months to build the sort of credibility for a Labour-Greens coalition that pulls some voters across from National’s side and some non-voters in from the cold. In his six months as leader Cunliffe, first, … Continue reading

Gerry Brownlee in a kaftan! Can this be for real?

Judith Collins wasn’t at the National party’s Bluegreens conference on Saturday. So she was saved from being upstaged by stalwart Bluegreen MP Nicky Wagner’s line: “Everything that kills stuff is good.” Wagner hurriedly added: “…humanely”. And she was talking about … Continue reading

The highs and lows of bubble economics

An old English music hall singalong trips cheerily: “I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky.” Next, reality: “Then like my dreams, they fade and die.” Central bankers know about that … Continue reading

Now for a generational change in education

Don’t look now but there are changes in schooling and in the way the two big parties think about it. The twentieth-century education factory system won’t do in this century. Last century’s school factories mass-processed children into intermediate goods for … Continue reading

A battered fringe party hoping for rescue

Don Brash has written a memoir. It should be quite a read, given his trajectory, from Presbyterian left believer who found classical-liberal economic truth doing his doctorate in Australia, to the World Bank, merchant banker, failed National candidate and kiwifruit … Continue reading

Time for new thinking, says fuddy-duddy lord

The Greens met in a “campaign conference” over the weekend. Delegates will now vote on a candidate list ranking. The big question for the campaign and the list: are the Greens a party of the future? In 1972 the Greens’ … Continue reading

A low-wage downside and the “living wage”

New Zealand wages are around 30 per cent below Australian wages. That makes our goods competitive in Australia — too competitive for some Australians. Their solution: a non-tariff trade barrier. Horticulture farmers here have for a year or so been … Continue reading